N West to spend R84m to improve ambulance response time

Pretoria: The North West provincial government will spend R84.25 million on Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) Satellite Stations and a new planned patient transport model, Premier Thandi Modise has announced.

Premier Modise said the new model to provide basic transport for patients from clinics to community health centres and hospitals would free up ambulances to concentrate on only responding to emergency calls.

Modise said that the model was adopted after realising that the majority of cases done by EMRS were not emergencies but patients requiring transport.

“Seventy percent of patients that do not have an emergency condition are utilising the services of ambulances to reach hospitals, as they have no access to a coordinated public transport system, resulting in a burden on the already overstretched EMRS System,” Premier Modise said.

According to the proposal that was presented by Health MEC Dr Magome Masike to the provincial executive committee (Exco), the earmarked funding is to be used to buy 30 new vehicles, employ 120 drivers and 200 emergency care officers to be stationed at satellite sub-district stations to support the planned patient transport system on a 24-hour basis.

Twenty-five additional ambulances are to be purchased at a cost of R18.75 million to support EMRS satellite stations to be established in the districts.